Ukrainian forces have shot down a Russian “early warning and control aircraft” shortly after it took off over the Sea of Azov on Sunday.
The A-50 radar early warning plane was shot down in the Kyrylivka area of Zaporizhzhia in southern region of Ukraine which has a crew of around 15 people and costs about $330 million.
Also a Russian Ilyushin Il-22 airborne command post was also damaged the Kyiv Post reported which made an emergency landing on the Russian side of the location.
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Sources in Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) told the Kyiv Post that both aircraft were hit, they said, “we confirm the fact,” then added, “We do not comment on the means used.”
On Monday Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny said, “soldiers of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” destroyed the aircraft, in what would have been a very bad day form Kremlin officials.
He added, “Thanks to the Air Force for the excellently planned and conducted operation in Azov region! Glory to Ukraine!”
A Russian pilot of a Su-30 fighter jet confirmed that the early warning and control aircraft was hit and according to RBC-Ukraine the A-50 disappeared from radar.
The Russian Ilyushin Il-22 airborne command post was hit by Ukrainian forces, RBC said that an emergency call was made by the crew, they said, “Urgently requesting ambulance and fire crew.”
Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St Andrews, said the aircraft losses should “seriously complicate Russian aircraft operations close to the battlefield.”
He said on X, “And if these were shot down by Patriots over the Sea of Azov, would have meant that they would have been brought very close to the front lines. Quite an operation.”